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CHAPTER 1

SWAT INPUT DATA:


OVERVIEW
SWAT is a comprehensive model that requires a diversity of information
in order to run. Novice users may feel a little overwhelmed by the variety and
number of inputs when they first begin to use the model. However, many of the
inputs are used to simulate special features that are not common to all watersheds.
This chapter provides an overview of model inputs. The inputs are
organized by topic and emphasis is given to differentiating required inputs from
optional inputs. This chapter focuses on assisting the user in identifying inputs
that must be defined for their particular dataset. The remaining chapters list
variables by file and discuss methods used to measure or calculate values for the
input parameters.

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

1.1 WATERSHED CONFIGURATION


The first step in setting up a watershed simulation is to partition the
watershed into subunits. SWAT allows several different subunits to be defined
within a watershed.
Subbasins
unlimited number of HRUs (1 per subbasin required)
one pond (optional)
one wetland (optional)
Reach/main channel segments (1 per subbasin)
Impoundments on main channel network (optional)
Point sources (optional)

1.1.1 SUBBASINS
The first level of subdivision is the subbasin. Subbasins possess a
geographic position in the watershed and are spatially related to one another, e.g.
outflow from subbasin #5 enters subbasin #7. The subbasin delineation may be
obtained from subwatershed boundaries that are defined by surface topography so
that the entire area within a subbasin flows to the subbasin outlet. Alternatively,
the subbasin delineation may be obtained from grid cell boundaries. Since most
spatial input is grid-based (i.e. DEM, NEXRAD, LULC), grid cells are an
appealing approach for subbasin delineation. However unlike the subwatershed
discretization, grid cells do not preserve routing reaches and topographic flow
paths.
A subbasin will contain at least one HRU, a tributary channel and a main
channel or reach. Two types of impoundments, a pond and/or wetland, may also
be defined within a subbasin. These features are reviewed in the following
sections.

1.1.2 HYDROLOGIC RESPONSE UNITS


The land area in a subbasin may be divided into hydrologic response units
(HRUs). Hydrologic response units are portions of a subbasin that possess unique
landuse/management/soil attributes. HRUs were incorporated into SWAT as part
of the HUMUS (Hydrologic Unit Model for the United States) project. Prior to

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

the HUMUS project, only one landuse/management/soil combination could be


defined per subbasin in SWAT. HUMUS used U.S.G.S. 2-digit hydrologic
boundaries to divide the contiguous United States into watersheds while 8-digit
hydrologic boundaries were used to define subbasins within the watersheds. Only
percentages of soil and landuse were known within the 8-digit hydrologic units
the geographic location of the landuse and soils within each subbasin was
unknown. To capture the diversity of land use and soils that could be
encompassed in an 8-digit hydrologic unit, a method was needed to account for
the complexity of the landscape within the boundaries of the subbasins. The
inclusion of HRUs allowed SWAT to account for this diversity.
An HRU is not synonymous to a field. Rather it is the total area in the
subbasin with a particular landuse, management and soil. While individual fields
with a specific landuse, management and soil may be scattered throughout a
subbasin, these areas are lumped together to form one HRU. HRUs are used in
most SWAT runs since they simplify a run by lumping all similar soil and land
use areas into a single response unit. It is often not practical to simulate individual
fields.
Implicit in the concept of the HRU is the assumption that there is no
interaction between HRUs in one subbasin. Loadings (runoff with sediment,
nutrients, etc. transported by the runoff) from each HRU are calculated separately
and then summed together to determine the total loadings from the subbasin. If
the interaction of one landuse area with another is important, rather than defining
those landuse areas as HRUs they should be defined as subbasins. It is only at the
subbasin level that spatial relationships can be specified.
The benefit of HRUs is the increase in accuracy it adds to the prediction of
loadings from the subbasin. The growth and development of plants can differ
greatly among species. When the diversity in plant cover within a subbasin is
accounted for, the net amount of runoff entering the main channel from the
subbasin will be much more accurate.
As a general rule, a given subbasin should have 1-10 HRUs. For those
wishing to incorporate more complexity into a dataset, we would recommend that

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

the user define a greater number of subbasins in the watershed rather than many
HRUs within a few subbasins. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. An
example of such an exception would be the requirement that the project uses a
particular subbasin delineation that doesnt allow the user to capture landuse
diversity without the incorporation of many HRUs.

1.1.3 REACH/MAIN CHANNELS


One reach or main channel is associated with each subbasin in a
watershed. Loadings from the subbasin enter the channel network of the
watershed in the associated reach segment. Outflow from the upstream reach
segment(s) will also enter the reach segment. Processes involved in routing water,
sediment and other constituents through the reach are reviewed in Section 7 of the
Theoretical Documentation.

1.1.4 TRIBUTARY CHANNELS


The term tributary channel is used to differentiate inputs for channelized
flow of surface runoff generated in a subbasin. Tributary channel inputs are used
to calculate the time of concentration for channelized flow of runoff generated
within the subbasin and transmission losses from runoff as it flows to the main
channel.
Tributary channel inputs define the longest flow path in the subbasin. For
some subbasins, the main channel may be the longest flow path. If so, tributary
channel dimensions will be the same as those for the main channel. In other
subbasins, the tributary channel dimensions will be significantly different than the
main channel.

1.1.5 PONDS/WETLANDS/RESERVOIRS
In order to process USGS landuse maps, the GIS interfaces will allow
HRUs to be created with water as the land use. If at all possible this should be
avoided. Water bodies within a watershed should be modeled as ponds, wetlands
or reservoirs.

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Water bodies located on the stream network of the watershed are modeled
as reservoirs. While the term reservoir is commonly used for man-made
structures and lake for naturally occurring water bodies, the use of the term
reservoir in SWAT is not meant to imply that the water body is man-made.
With the terms reservoir and pond we are differentiating impoundments by
location. Because impoundments on the main channel network tend to be larger
than impoundments off the main channel network, a difference in size is also
implied with the use of these terms. It would probably be more appropriate to
refer to the different types of water bodies as main channel impoundments and
subbasin impoundments, but the need for different file extensions to store inputs
makes the use of these two terms convenient.
Two water bodies (pond/wetlands) may be defined within each subbasin.
Water entering these impoundments is generated in the subbasinthey cannot
receive water originating in other subbasins. In contrast, reservoirs receive water
contributed to the channel network from all upstream subbasins.

1.1.6 POINT SOURCES


SWAT directly models the loading of water, sediment and nutrients from
land areas in a watershed. However, some watersheds will have loadings to the
stream network from sources not associated with a land area. These are referred to
as point sources. The most common point source is a sewage treatment plant.
In order to account for the loadings from a point source, SWAT allows
users to add daily or average daily loading data for point sources to the main
channel network. These loadings are then routed through the channel network
along with the loadings generated by the land areas.
In the GIS interfaces, a subbasin map is produced which allows the user to
easily see the spatial relationship between subbasins. In the Windows (non-GIS)
interface, the user can set up the spatial positioning of subbasins with drag and
drop objects and connecting arrows to show direction of flow. The core SWAT
program is not able to access maps or displays. Instead, it uses the information
provided in the watershed configuration file (.fig) to link the individual subbasins
together in the watershed. The watershed file is an ASCII or text file. The file

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

format is described in Chapter 2 and example watershed configurations are


provided in Appendix B.

1.2 OVERVIEW OF INPUT FILES


Input for SWAT is defined at one of several different levels of detail:
watershed, subbasin, or HRU. Unique features such as reservoirs or point sources
must have input data provided for each individual feature included in the
watershed simulation.
Watershed level inputs are used to model processes throughout the
watershed.

For

example,

the

method

selected

to

model

potential

evapotranspiration will be used in all HRUs in the watershed. Subbasin level


inputs are inputs set at the same value for all HRUs in the subbasin if the input
pertains to a process modeled in the HRU. Because there is one reach per
subbasin, input data for main channels is defined at the subbasin level also. An
example of subbasin level data is rainfall and temperature information. The same
rainfall and maximum and minimum temperature are used for all HRUs, the main
channel and any ponds or wetlands located within the subbasin. HRU level inputs
are inputs that can be set to unique values for each HRU in the watershed. An
example of an HRU input is the management scenario simulated in an HRU.
An attempt was been made to organize input information according to the
type of input. However, there are a few files that have had to serve as catch-alls.
These files contain input data for various processes modeled in the watershed that
do not fit into any of the specialized files.

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Input files for SWAT include:


file.cio
(watershed level file)

.fig
(watershed level file)

.bsn
(watershed level file)

.pcp
(watershed level file)

.tmp
(watershed level file)

.slr
(watershed level file)

.wnd
(watershed level file)

.hmd
(watershed level file)

.pet
(watershed level file)

Master watershed file. This required file contains the


names of watershed level files and parameters
related to printing.
Watershed configuration file. This required file
defines the routing network in the watershed and
lists input file names for the different objects in the
watershed.
Basin input file. This required file defines values or
options used to model physical processes uniformly
over the entire watershed.
Precipitation input file. This optional file contains
daily measured precipitation for a measuring
gage(s). Up to 18 precipitation files may be used in
each simulation and each file can hold data for up to
300 stations. The data for a particular station is
assigned to a subbasin in the subbasin input file
(.sub).
Temperature input file. This optional file contains
daily
measured
maximum
and
minimum
temperatures for a measuring gage(s). Up to 18
temperature files may be used in each simulation and
each file can hold data for up to 150 stations. The
data for a particular station is assigned to a subbasin
in the subbasin input file (.sub).
Solar radiation input file. This optional file contains
daily solar radiation for a measuring gage(s). The
solar radiation file can hold data for up to 300
stations. The data for a particular station is assigned
to a subbasin in the subbasin input file (.sub).
Wind speed input file. This optional file contains
daily average wind speed for a measuring gage(s).
The wind speed file can hold data for up to 300
stations. The data for a particular station is assigned
to a subbasin in the subbasin input file (.sub).
Relative humidity input file. This optional file
contains daily relative humidity values for a
measuring gage(s). The relative humidity file can
hold data for up to 300 stations. The data for a
particular station is assigned to a subbasin in the
subbasin input file (.sub).
Potential evapotranspiration input file. This optional
file contains daily PET values for the watershed.

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

.cst
(watershed level file)

.cal
(watershed level file)

crop.dat
(watershed level file)

till.dat
(watershed level file)

pest.dat
(watershed level file)

fert.dat
(watershed level file)

urban.dat
(watershed level file)

septic.dat
(watershed level file)

.sub
(subbasin level file)

.wgn
(subbasin level file)

.pnd
(subbasin level file)

.wus
(subbasin level file)

.rte
(subbasin level file)

.sep
(subbasin level file)

Weather forecast input file. This optional file


contains the statistical data needed to generate
representative daily climatic data for the subbasins
during the forecast period.
Auto-calibration input file. This optional file
contains the data needed to operate the autocalibration algorithms.
Land cover/plant growth database file. This required
file contains plant growth parameters for all land
covers simulated in the watershed.
Tillage database file. This required file contains
information on the amount and depth of mixing
caused by tillage operations simulated in the
watershed.
Pesticide database file. This required file contains
information on mobility and degradation for all
pesticides simulated in the watershed.
Fertilizer database file. This required file contains
information on the nutrient content of all fertilizers
and manures simulated in the watershed.
Urban database file. This required file contains
information on the build-up/wash-off of solids in
urban areas simulated in the watershed.
Septic database file. This file contains information
on septic systems.
Subbasin input file. This required file for each
subbasin defines climatic inputs, tributary channel
attributes, and the number and types of HRUs in the
subbasin.
Weather generator input file. This required file
contains the statistical data needed to generate
representative daily climatic data for a subbasin.
Pond/wetland input file. This optional file contains
information for impoundments located within a
subbasin.
Water use input file. This optional file contains
information for consumptive water use in a subbasin.
Main channel input file. This required file contains
parameters governing water and sediment movement
in the main channel of a subbasin.
Septic input file.
This optional file contains
information for septic systems.

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

.wwq
(watershed level file)

.swq
(subbasin level file)

.hru
(HRU level file)

.mgt
(HRU level file)

.sol
(HRU level file)

.chm
(HRU level file)

.gw
(HRU level file)

.res
(reservoir file)

.lwq
(reservoir file)

rechour.dat
recday.dat
recmon.dat
recyear.dat
reccnst.dat

Watershed water quality input file. This optional file


contains parameters used to model QUAL2E
transformations in the main channels.
Stream water quality input file. This optional file
contains parameters used to model pesticide and
QUAL2E nutrient transformations in the main
channel of the subbasin.
HRU input file. Required file for HRU level
parameters. Catch-all file.
Management input file. This required file contains
management scenarios and specifies the land cover
simulated in the HRU.
Soil input file. This required file contains
information about the physical characteristics of the
soil in the HRU.
Soil chemical input file. This optional file contains
information about initial nutrient and pesticide levels
of the soil in the HRU.
Groundwater input file. This required file contains
information about the shallow and deep aquifer in
the subbasin. Because land covers differ in their
interaction with the shallow aquifer, information in
this input file is allowed to be varied at the HRU
level.
Reservoir input file. This optional file contains
parameters used to model the movement of water
and sediment through a reservoir.
Lake water quality input file. This optional file
contains parameters used to model the movement of
nutrients and pesticides through a reservoir.
Point source input files. These optional files contain
information about loadings to the channel network
from a point source. The type of file used to store the
data depends on how the data is summarized (hourly,
daily, monthly, yearly, or average annual).

(point source file)

1.3 MODEL INPUTS BY TYPE


The following tables group inputs by type. Detailed explanations of the
variables are given in the input file chapter. Please keep in mind that in the GIS
interfaces, some of these variables are automatically set by the interface and users
will not be allowed to edit them.

10

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

WATERSHED DIMENSIONS
SWAT calculates total watershed dimensions from the watershed configuration
given in the .fig file and variables located in various files. The variables listed
here are the ones used in the calculation.
Variable
SUB_KM
HRUTOT
HRU_FR
Length of Simulation
Variable
NBYR
IYR
IDAF
IDAL

.sub
.sub
.hru

File
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 19

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3

Output Print Options/Output Summary Options


Variable
File
IPRINT
file.cio
Chapter 3
NYSKIP
file.cio
Chapter 3
ILOG
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPRP
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPRS
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPDVAR(1-20)
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPDVAB(1-20)
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPDVAS(1-20)
file.cio
Chapter 3
IPDHRU(1-20)
file.cio
Chapter 3
TITLE
file.cio
Chapter 3
.fig
Chapter 2
save command
.fig
Chapter 2
saveconc command
Random Number Generator
Variable
IGEN
Special Project Flag
Variable
ISPROJ

file.cio

File
Chapter 3

file.cio

File
Chapter 3

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

CLIMATE
Precipitation
Variable
PCPSIM
IDT
IDIST
REXP
NRGAGE
NRTOT
NRGFIL
RFILE(1-18)
IEVENT
ISED_DET
RAIN_YRS
PCPMM(1-12)
PCPSTD(1-12)
PCPSKW(1-12)
PR_W(1,1-12)
PR_W(2,1-12)
PCPD(1-12)
RAINHHMX(1-12)
FPCPMM(1-12)
FPCPSTD(1-12)
FPCPSKW(1-12)
FPR_W(1,1-12)
FPR_W(2,1-12)
FPCPD(1-12)
PRECIPITATION
IRGAGE
PLAPS
RFINC(1-12)

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.bsn
.bsn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.pcp
.sub
.sub
.sub

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 6
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5

Snow Processes
Variable
SFTMP
SMTMP
SMFMX
SMFMN
TIMP
SNOCOVMX
SNO50COV
SNO_SUB

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.sub

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

11

12

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Snow Processes, cont.


Variable
SNOEB(1-10)

.sub

File
Chapter 5

Temperature
Variable
TMPSIM
NTGAGE
NTTOT
NTGFIL
TFILE(1-18)
TMPMX(1-12)
TMPMN(1-12)
TMPSTDMX(1-12)
TMPSTDMN(1-12)
FTMPMX(1-12)
FTMPMN(1-12)
FTMPSTDMX(1-12)
FTMPSTDMN(1-12)
MAX TEMP
MIN TEMP
ITGAGE
TLAPS
TMPINC

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.wgn
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.tmp
.tmp
.sub
.sub
.sub

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 7
Chapter 7
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5

Solar Radiation
Variable
SLRSIM
NSTOT
SLRFILE
WLATITUDE
SOLARAV(1-12)
SOL_RAD
ISGAGE
SUB_LAT
RADINC(1-12)

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.wgn
.wgn
.slr
.sub
.sub
.sub

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 8
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Relative Humidity Input


Variable
RHSIM
NHTOT
RHFILE
DEWPT(1-12)
RHD
IHGAGE
HUMINC(1-12)

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.wgn
.hmd
.sub
.sub

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 12
Chapter 10
Chapter 5
Chapter 5

Wind Speed Input


Variable
WNDSIM
NWTOT
WNDFILE
IWGAGE
WNDAV(1-12)
WND_SP

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.sub
.wgn
.wnd

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 12
Chapter 9

.wgn
.pcp
.tmp
.sub
.sub
.sub
.sub
.sub

File
Chapter 12
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5

.sub
.sub
.sub
.sub
.sub
crop.dat
crop.dat

File
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 14
Chapter 14

Elevation Bands
Variable
WELEV
ELEVATION
ELEVATION
ELEVB(1-10)
ELEV_FR(1-10)
SNOEB(1-10)
PLAPS
TLAPS
Climate Change
Variable
CO2
RFINC(1-12)
TMPINC(1-12)
RADINC(1-12)
HUMINC(1-12)
CO2HI
BIOEHI

13

14

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Weather Forecast
Variable
FCSTYR
FCSTDAY
FCSTCYCLES
FCSTFILE
FCSTREG
FCST_REG
FTMPMX(1-12)
FTMPMN(1-12)
FTMPSTDMX(1-12)
FTMPSTDMN(1-12)
FPCPMM(1-12)
FPCPSTD(1-12)
FPCPSKW(1-12)
FPR_W(1,1-12)
FPR_W(2,1-12)
FPCPD(1-12)

file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
file.cio
.sub
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst
.cst

File
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13
Chapter 13

HYDROLOGIC CYCLE
Potential and Actual Evapotranspiration
Variable
IPET
.bsn
PETFILE
.bsn
ESCO
.bsn, .hru
EPCO
.bsn, .hru
PET_MEAS
.pet
SUB_ELEV
.sub
CANMX
.hru
SOL_ALB
.sol
GW_REVAP
.gw
REVAPMN
.gw

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4, 19
Chapter 4, 19
Chapter 11
Chapter 5
Chapter 19
Chapter 22
Chapter 24
Chapter 24

Surface Runoff
Variable
IEVENT
ICN
CNCOEF
SURLAG

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Surface Runoff, cont.


Variable
CN2
CNOP (plant operation)
CNOP (harv & kill op)
CNOP (tillage operation)
URBCN2

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
urban.dat

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 18

Time of Concentration
Variable
CH_L(1)
CH_S(1)
CH_N(1)
SLSUBBSN
OV_N

.sub
.sub
.sub
.hru
.hru

File
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Chapter 19
Chapter 19

Crack Flow
Variable
ICRK
SOL_CRK

.bsn
.sol

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 22

Transmission Losses from Surface Runoff


Variable
File
CH_L(1)
.sub
Chapter 5
CH_W(1)
.sub
Chapter 5
CH_K(1)
.sub
Chapter 5
Soil Water
Variable
FFCB
SOL_Z
SOL_BD
SOL_AWC
SOL_K
irrigation operation
auto-irrigation operation
FLOW_OVN, route command

.bsn
.sol
.sol
.sol
.sol
.mgt
.mgt
.fig

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 2

15

16

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Lateral Flow
Variable
HRU_SLP
LAT_TTIME
SLSOIL

.hru
.hru
.hru

File
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19

High Water Table


Variable
IWATABLE

.hru

File
Chapter 19

.gw
.gw
.gw
.gw
.gw
.gw
.gw
.gw
.wus
.wus

File
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 24
Chapter 21
Chapter 21

.bsn
.hru
.hru
.hru
.mgt
.sol
.sol
.sol
.sol
.sol
.mgt
crop.dat

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 22
Chapter 20
Chapter 14

Groundwater
Variable
SHALLST
DEEPST
GW_DELAY
ALPHA_BF
GWQMN
GW_REVAP
REVAPMN
RCHRG_DP
WUSHAL(1-12)
WUDEEP(1-12)

SEDIMENT
Sediment Erosion
Variable
ADJ_PKR
SLSUBBSN
HRU_SLP
LAT_SED
FILTERW
CLAY
SILT
SAND
ROCK
USLE_K
USLE_P
USLE_C

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

NUTRIENTS
Nitrogen Cycle/Runoff
Variable
RCN
.bsn
CMN
.bsn
CDN
.bsn
SDNCO
.bsn
N_UPDIS
.bsn
NPERCO
.bsn
RSDCO
.bsn
ANION_EXCL
.sol
SOL_NO3
.chm
SOL_ORGN
.chm
SOL_CBN
.sol
ERORGN
.hru
FILTERW
.mgt
BIOMIX
.mgt
.mgt
fertilizer application
FMINN
fert.dat
FORGN
fert.dat
FNH3N
fert.dat
.mgt
tillage operation
EFFMIX
till.dat
DEPTIL
till.dat
grazing operation
.mgt
auto-fertilization operation
.mgt
continuous fertilization operatio .mgt
CNYLD
crop.dat
PLTNFR(1)
crop.dat
PLTNFR(2)
crop.dat
PLTNFR(3)
crop.dat
GWNO3
.gw

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 23
Chapter 22
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 20
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 24

Phosphorus Cycle/Runoff
Variable
P_UPDIS
PPERCO
PHOSKD
PSP
RSDCO
SOL_SOLP
SOL_ORGP
ERORGP

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 23
Chapter 23
Chapter 19

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.chm
.chm
.hru

17

18

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Phosphorus Cycle/Runoff, cont.


Variable
FILTERW
.mgt
BIOMIX
.mgt
.mgt
fertilizer application
FMINP
fert.dat
FORGP
fert.dat
.mgt
tillage operation
EFFMIX
till.dat
DEPTIL
till.dat
.mgt
grazing operation
.mgt
auto-fertilization operation
continuous fertilization operation .mgt
CPYLD
crop.dat
PLTPFR(1)
crop.dat
PLTPFR(2)
crop.dat
PLTPFR(3)
crop.dat
GWSOLP
.gw

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 20
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 24

PESTICIDE
Pesticide in Soil/Runoff
Variable
PERCOP
PESTNUM
PLTPST
SOLPST
FILTERW
PSTENR
BIOMIX
pesticide application
SKOC
WOF
HLIFE_F
HLIFE_S
AP_EF
WSOL
tillage operation
EFFMIX
DEPTIL

.bsn
.chm
.chm
.chm
.mgt
.chm
.mgt
.mgt
pest.dat
pest.dat
pest.dat
pest.dat
pest.dat
pest.dat
.mgt
till.dat
till.dat

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 23
Chapter 23
Chapter 23
Chapter 20
Chapter 23
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 16
Chapter 20
Chapter 15
Chapter 15

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

BACTERIA
Bacteria in Soil/Runoff
Variable
WDPQ
WGPQ
WDLPQ
WGLPQ
WDPS
WGPS
WDLPS
WGLPS
BACTKDQ
THBACT
WOF_P
WOF_LP
WDPF
WGPF
WDLPF
WGLPF
BACT_SWF
BACTMIX
BACTMIN
FILTERW
BIOMIX
tillage operation
EFFMIX
DEPTIL
fertilizer application
BACTPDB
BACTLPDB
BACTKDDB
grazing operation
auto-fertilization operation
continuous fertilization operation

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
till.dat
till.dat
.mgt
fert.dat
fert.dat
fert.dat
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 15
Chapter 15
Chapter 20
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 17
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

WATER QUALITY
Subbasin Water Quality Indices
Variable
ISUBWQ
.bsn

File
Chapter 4

19

20

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

PLANTS
Plant Growth
Variable
SOL_ZMX
PHU_PLT/HEAT UNITS
BIO_MIN
plant operation
harvest & kill operation
harvest operation
kill operation
grazing operation
CO2
IDC
BIO_E
HVSTI
BLAI
FRGRW1
LAIMX1
FRGRW2
LAIMX2
DLAI
CHTMX
RDMX
T_OPT
T_BASE
CNYLD
CPYLD
PLTNFR(1)
PLTNFR(2)
PLTNFR(3)
PLTPFR(1)
PLTPFR(2)
PLTPFR(3)
WSYF
GSI
VPDFR
FRGMAX
WAVP
CO2HI
BIOEHI

.sol
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.sub
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat
crop.dat

File
Chapter 22
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 5
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14
Chapter 14

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Plant Growth, cont.


Variable
ALAI_MIN
BIO_LEAF
Residue
Variable
RSDIN
RSDCO
harvest & kill operation
harvest operation
kill operation
grazing operation
RSDCO_PL
BIO_LEAF

crop.dat
crop.dat

File
Chapter 14
Chapter 14

.hru
.bsn
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
crop.dat
crop.dat

File
Chapter 19
Chapter 4
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 14
Chapter 14

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

MANAGEMENT
Management-Land Cover
Variable
IGRO
NROT
PLANT_ID
LAI_INIT
BIO_INIT
PHU_PLT
BIO_MIN
plant operation
HEAT UNITS
PLANT_ID
HI_TARG
BIO_TARG
LAI_INIT
BIO_INIT
harvest & kill operation
harvest operation
HI_OVR
HARVEFF
kill operation

21

22

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Management-Land Cover, cont.


Variable
.mgt
grazing operation
BIO_EAT
.mgt
GRZ_DAYS
.mgt
BIO_TRMP
.mgt

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

Management-Nutrients
Variable
BIOMIX
fertilizer application
FRT_SURFACE
FERT_ID
FERT_KG
tillage operation
TILLAGE_ID
grazing operation
MANURE_KG
MANURE_ID
auto-fertilization operation
AUTO_NSTRS
AFERT_ID
AUTO_NAPP
AUTO_NYR
AUTO_EFF
AFRT_SURFACE
continuous fertilization op
FERT_DAYS
CFRT_ID
IFRT_FREQ
CFRT_KG

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

Management-Pesticide
Variable
BIOMIX
pesticide application
PEST_ID
FERT_KG
tillage operation
TILLAGE_ID

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Management-Water
Variable
IRRSC
IRRNO
FLOWMIN
DIVMAX
FLOWFR
DDRAIN
TDRAIN
GDRAIN
POT_FR
POT_TILE
POT_VOLX
POT_VOL
EVLAI
irrigation operation
IRR_AMT
auto-irrigation operation
WSTRS_ID
AUTO_WSTR
release/impound operation
IMP_TRIG

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.hru
.hru
.hru
.hru
.bsn
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 4
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20

Management-Urban
Variable
IURBAN
URBLU
street sweeping operation
SWEEPEFF
FR_CURB
FIMP
FCIMP
CURBDEN
URBCOEF
DIRTMX
THALF
TNCONC
TPCONC
TNO3CONC
URBCN2

.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat
urban.dat

File
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18
Chapter 18

23

24

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

CHANNEL PROCESSES
Channel Water Routing
Variable
IEVENT
IRTE
TRNSRCH
EVRCH
MSK_CO1
MSK_CO2
MSK_X
CH_W(2)
CH_D
CH_S(2)
CH_L(2)
CH_N(2)
CH_K(2)
ALPHA_BNK
FLOWMIN
DIVMAX
FLOWFR
WURCH(1-12)
transfer command
FLOW_OVN, route command
Channel Sediment Routing
Variable
IDEG
PRF
SPCON
SPEXP
CH_W(2)
CH_D
CH_S(2)
CH_EROD
CH_COV
CH_WDR

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.mgt
.mgt
.mgt
.wus
.fig
.fig

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 2
Chapter 2

.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.bsn
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte
.rte

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25
Chapter 25

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Channel Nutrient Routing


Variable
IWQ
AI1
AI2
P_N
RS2
RS3
RS4
RS5
BC1
BC2
BC3
BC4

.bsn
.wwq
.wwq
.wwq
.swq
.swq
.swq
.swq
.swq
.swq
.swq
.swq

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27

Channel Water Quality Indices


Variable
IWQ
.bsn
LAO
.wwq
IGROPT
.wwq
AI0
.wwq
AI1
.wwq
AI2
.wwq
AI3
.wwq
AI4
.wwq
AI5
.wwq
AI6
.wwq
MUMAX
.wwq
RHOQ
.wwq
TFACT
.wwq
K_L
.wwq
K_N
.wwq
K_P
.wwq
LAMBDA0
.wwq
LAMBDA1
.wwq
LAMBDA2
.wwq
P_N
.wwq
RS1
.swq
RK1
.swq
RK2
.swq
RK3
.swq
RK4
.swq
structure command
.fig

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 2

25

26

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Channel Pesticide Routing Input


Variable
IWQ
.bsn
IRTPEST
.bsn
CHPST_REA
.swq
CHPST_VOL
.swq
CHPST_KOC
.swq
CHPST_STL
.swq
CHPST_RSP
.swq
CHPST_MIX
.swq
SEDPST_CONC
.swq
SEDPST_REA
.swq
SEDPST_BRY
.swq
SEDPST_ACT
.swq

File
Chapter 4
Chapter 4
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27
Chapter 27

IMPOUNDMENT PROCESSES
Impoundment Water RoutingPond
Variable
PND_FR
.pnd
PND_PSA
.pnd
PND_PVOL
.pnd
PND_ESA
.pnd
PND_EVOL
.pnd
PND_VOL
.pnd
PND_K
.pnd
IFLOD1
.pnd
IFLOD2
.pnd
NDTARG
.pnd
WUPND(1-12)
.wus

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 21

Impoundment Water RoutingWetland


Variable
WET_FR
.pnd
WET_NSA
.pnd
WET_NVOL
.pnd
WET_MXSA
.pnd
WET_MXVOL
.pnd
WET_VOL
.pnd
WET_K
.pnd

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Impoundment Water RoutingPothole


Variable
POT_FR
.hru
POT_TILE
.hru
POT_VOLX
.hru
POT_VOL
.hru
EVLAI
.bsn
.mgt
release/impound operation

File
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 19
Chapter 4
Chapter 20

Impoundment Water RoutingReservoir


Variable
RES_SUB
.res
MORES
.res
IYRES
.res
RES_ESA
.res
RES_EVOL
.res
RES_PSA
.res
RES_PVOL
.res
RES_VOL
.res
RES_K
.res
IRESCO
.res
OFLOWMX(1-12)
.res
OFLOWMN(1-12)
.res
RES_RR
.res
RESMONO
.res
IFLOD1R
.res
IFLOD2R
.res
NDTARGR
.res
STARG(1-12)
.res
RESDAYO
.res
WURESN(1-12)
.res
WURTNF
.res
RES_OUTFLOW
resdayo.dat
RESOUT
resmono.dat

File
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29

Impoundment Sediment Routing


Variable
PND_SED
.pnd
PND_NSED
.pnd
WET_SED
.pnd
WET_NSED
.pnd
POT_NSED
.hru

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 19

27

28

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012

Impoundment Sediment Routing


Variable
RES_SED
.res
RES_NSED
.res
RES_D50
.res

File
Chapter 29
Chapter 29
Chapter 29

Impoundment Nutrient RoutingPond


Variable
PSETLP1
.pnd
PSETLP2
.pnd
NSETLP1
.pnd
NSETLP2
.pnd
PND_NO3
.pnd
PND_SOLP
.pnd
PND_ORGN
.pnd
PND_ORGP
.pnd
IPND1
.pnd
IPND2
.pnd

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28

Impoundment Nutrient RoutingWetland


Variable
PSETLW1
.pnd
PSETLW2
.pnd
NSETLW1
.pnd
NSETLW2
.pnd
WET_NO3
.pnd
WET_SOLP
.pnd
WET_ORGN
.pnd
WET_ORGP
.pnd
IPND1
.pnd
IPND2
.pnd

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28

Impoundment Nutrient RoutingReservoir


Variable
File
IRES1
.lwq
Chapter 30
IRES2
.lwq
Chapter 30
PSETLR1
.lwq
Chapter 30
PSETLR2
.lwq
Chapter 30
NSETLR1
.lwq
Chapter 30
NSETLR2
.lwq
Chapter 30

CHAPTER 1: SWAT INPUTOVERVIEW

Impoundment Nutrient RoutingReservoir, cont.


Variable
File
RES_ORGP
.lwq
Chapter 30
RES_SOLP
.lwq
Chapter 30
RES_ORGN
.lwq
Chapter 30
RES_NO3
.lwq
Chapter 30
RES_NH3
.lwq
Chapter 30
RES_NO2
.lwq
Chapter 30

Impoundment Water Quality Indices


Variable
CHLAP
.pnd
SECCIP
.pnd
CHLAW
.pnd
SECCIW
.pnd
CHLAR
.lwq
SECCIR
.lwq

File
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 28
Chapter 30
Chapter 30

Impoundment Pesticide RoutingReservoir


Variable
File
IRTPEST
.bsn
Chapter 4
LKPST_CONC
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_REA
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_VOL
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_KOC
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_STL
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_RSP
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKPST_MIX
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKSPST_CONC
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKSPST_REA
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKSPST_BRY
.lwq
Chapter 30
LKSPST_ACT
.lwq
Chapter 30

29

30

SWAT INPUT/OUTPUT FILE DOCUMENTATION, VERSION 2012